Government of Canada

Government of Canada

September 09, 2008 19:00 ET

Canada Provides Additional Support to Haiti

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2008) - The Government of Canada announced today that Canada is providing additional support to assist the people of Haiti affected by the recent hurricanes and tropical storms. These storms have had a severe impact on the lives and livelihoods of up to 800,000 people in Haiti.

Canada will provide an additional $5 million in humanitarian assistance for Haitians affected by the devastation caused by the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean. These funds will be used to support activities in areas such as water and sanitation, food, shelter and health care to populations most in need. Canadian support will be provided via trusted humanitarian partners, will be based on continuing assessments of the situation on the ground, and will respond to an appeal to be launched shortly by the United Nations and other non-governmental partners operating in the country. As well, a strategic assessment team is being deployed to Haiti to assess the situation and recommend further potential contributions, including the need for medical and engineering support.

As part of the Government of Canada's response, the Canadian Forces have dispatched two Canadian Forces officers to support the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince and HMCS St. John's has been ordered to sail towards Haiti. The ship, its helicopter detachment and its crew will be available to support the strategic assessment team.

Today's announcement is in addition to the $600,000 announced by the Government of Canada on September 6, which included the provision of emergency relief supplies expected to arrive Wednesday in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. Canada's support also included a $43,000 contribution to Medecins du Monde to provide water, hygiene kits and primary health care, and $100,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' (IFRC) Preliminary Emergency Appeal to assist 7,000 families affected by the devastation in Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica.

The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with Canada's humanitarian partners to ensure that this assistance is making a difference in the lives of those affected. Canada is the second largest bilateral donor in Haiti, which is the largest recipient of Canadian long-term development assistance in the Americas and the second largest in the world.

To date, there are no reports of Canadian deaths or injuries as a result of Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna or Hurricane Ike. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) is advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to the affected region. For travel and security updates, please consult DFAIT's travel website (http://www.voyage.gc.ca/consular_home-en.asp).

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